This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



The Transport Group is presenting William Inges PICNIC (above) and COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA in repertory at the Gym at Judson

The Transport Group is presenting William Inge’s PICNIC (above) and COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA in repertory at the Gym at Judson

The Gym at Judson
243 Thompson St. at Washington Square South
Through April 23, $65-$75

Ten years ago, the Transport Group presented a revival of William Inge’s last major play, and his most autobiographical, 1957’s The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, directed by company cofounder and artistic director Jack Cummings III. The troupe is currently revisiting two of Inge’s most popular plays, 1950’s Come Back, Little Sheba and 1953’s Picnic; the former earned the Independence, Kansas, native the title of “most promising playwright of the 1950 Broadway season,” while the latter brought him the Pulitzer Prize. The plays, both of which were turned into successful films (with nine Oscar nominations and three wins between them), are being staged in repertory at the Gym at Judson across the street from Washington Square Park, where they continue through April 23, with Cummings helming both. Come Back, Little Sheba involves a boarder shaking things up in a midwestern town; the cast consists of Hannah Elless as Marie, David Greenspan as Elmo, John Cariani as Service Men, Joseph Kolinski as Doc, Heather Mac Rae as Lola, David T. Patterson as Turk, Jennifer Piech as Mrs. Coffman, Jay Russell as Ed, and Rowan Vickers as Bruce. Picnic begins on Labor Day, when the arrival of a hunky drifter changes the dynamic in a small town; the cast features Cariani as Howard, Elless as Millie, Ginna Le Vine as Madge, Mac Rae as Mrs. Potts, Stephen Mir as Bomber, Patterson as Hal, Michele Pawk as Flo, Piech as Irma, Krystal Rowley as Christine, Emily Skinner as Rosemary, and Vickers as Alan. “Independence lies in the very heart of our country, and so maybe its people have more heart in human affairs,” Inge, who committed suicide in Hollywood in 1973 at the age of sixty, wrote. “Big people come out of small towns.”

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